NSW – Fullan article in The Age

NSW educators wanting to improve public school system could learn from Ontario

In Australia, relentless debates over education, arguments over curriculum and disputes about funding models could easily leave observers convinced the sky isn’t far off falling down.

Some of the bad news is true. But the good news is that, with the right strategies in place and some persistence, education systems can not only stave off doom but can, in fact, make substantial progress.

Ontario, Canada, which has characteristics similar to NSW, was stagnant in 2003. In a decade, the percentage of students reaching the highest standard in literacy and numeracy has risen from 54 to 70 per cent and high school graduation rates have risen from 68 to 83 per cent across its 900 secondary schools. The goal now is to move from great to excellent.

So what matters most as you try to improve something as large and as complicated as the NSW public school system, with its 2218 schools, 755,000 students and more than 70,000 teachers?

Starting from the top, you need a compelling vision and a coherent direction. And when you implement it, you need to engage schools and communities in a strong two-way partnership.

This vision must permeate all levels of the system. You need to create the expectations and belief that all students can achieve, regardless of postcode. You need to develop agreement and alignment of practices in schools, along with the capacity of leaders and peer teachers to give constructive feedback to each other.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/comment/nsw-educators-wanting-to-improve-public-school-system-could-learn-from-ontario-20141103-11fzdb.html#ixzz3IGLt64On


One thought on “NSW – Fullan article in The Age

  1. about there being a shortage of Christians in pulibc schools, so there is definitely a great need there. All of my educational life has been in pulibc schools, and in my high school particularly there was a strong secular push. This meant that the few teachers who were open about being a Christian provided a lot of support for the Christian students, as well as for each other. Obviously in a primary school things are a bit different, and the same kind of teacher/student relationships probably aren’t going to occur. But I think that there is still great opportunity for Christians to be witness to other staff members or provide great encouragement to other teachers who may be Christians, as we seem to generally be in the minority.However, I think that there is still a great need in private schools. There are a lot of private schools that I think probably present a Christian appearance, through name or history or whatever, but are lacking real Christian influence or support. There are a lot of private schools around my area that I can think of that may call themselves an anglican girls school’ etc and have chapel and seem to be christian’, and yet a great deal of the staff aren’t Christian, or open about it- (NB. this is only second hand info from friends at other schools/people I know etc, so might not be 100% reliable).This is also an issue with principals and other leadership positions that are occupied by non-christians, which will then have a huge influence on the direction of the school. When Tim Bowman visited for Equip fac time I really got thinking about that, but you were there so I don’t need to say that again!Also, from my experience a lot of kids that are sent to private schools seem to come out having real issues with christianity, or the brand of it that has been promoted by their school. I think it’s really important that Christians in private schools can be examples of Christ-like and godly living to their students, especially if they are getting turned off by the institutional side of it all.Anyway, that was a bit of a ramble and not very conclusive, so sorry for the epic length, (its actually exam procrastination ) There is going to be need for Christians in both pulibc and private schools, and I think it partly comes down to which environment you can best serve God through your teaching with the gifts he has given you.I’m keen to read your other posts on this when you write them though.

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